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We want our Mars Bars!

Will Frears: Arsène Who?, 7 January 2021

My Life in Red and White 
by Arsène Wenger, translated by Daniel Hahn and Andrea Reece.
Weidenfeld, 352 pp., £25, October 2020, 978 1 4746 1824 3
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... in New York for 25 years and still have my season ticket. I have an Arsenal tattoo. On the morning Arsène Wenger announced his retirement, my wife came into the kitchen and asked if I’d booked my flight yet. I’m not a huge reader of football autobiographies, though, and I’m not sure why anyone who isn’t a fan would read one (or read a piece about ...

The Iceman Cometh

Ross McKibbin: Tony Adams, 6 January 2000

by Tony Adams and Ian Ridley.
HarperCollins, 384 pp., £6.99, August 1999, 0 00 218795 7
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... The most powerful manager during Adams’s time at Arsenal – excluding for the moment Arsène Wenger – was George Graham. Graham looms very large indeed in Adams’s account. He undoubtedly admired Graham as manager; he thought him tough and a pro. He, like Adams, knew Arsenal’s limitations and successfully exploited its strengths. He ...

The Cinderella Molecule

Steven Shapin: Solving the Ribosome, 24 January 2019

Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome 
by Venki Ramakrishnan.
Oneworld, 272 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 1 78607 436 2
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... car advertisements claiming that ‘adventure is in our RNA’ (Land Rover). When the much missed Arsène Wenger said that Arsenal were ‘an attacking team’, he didn’t add that forward play was ‘in our RNA’. And you won’t find an encyclopedia entry explaining that ‘Your RNA is what makes you uniquely you.’ The schematised DNA double-helix ...

Fergie Time

David Runciman: Sir Alex Speaks (again), 9 January 2014

My Autobiography 
by Alex Ferguson.
Hodder, 402 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 340 91939 2
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... attritional for that. The only other manager who had anything like Ferguson’s staying power was Arsène Wenger, now in his 17th season at Arsenal. But even Wenger wasn’t patient enough in Ferguson’s eyes. He became too attached to the ideal of a player who would slot neatly into the Arsenal system. He grew ...

Follow the Money

David Conn, 30 August 2012

... of training and management techniques under the influence of European coaches, most notably Arsène Wenger at Arsenal. The overseas stars brought European finesse to the English tradition of fast, direct football, and a more exciting style of play has been the result. The Premier League’s TV deals have grown hugely: £670 million in 1997, £1.6 ...

He shoots! He scores!

David Runciman: José Mourinho, 5 January 2006

Mourinho: Anatomy of a Winner 
by Patrick Barclay.
Orion, 210 pp., £14.99, September 2005, 0 7528 7333 4
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... United to finance their takeover by the Glazer family. Both Ferguson and his Arsenal counterpart, Arsène Wenger, are finding that their managerial skills count for little in the face of brute economic reality. In Ferguson’s case this has produced a state of semi-permanent rage against the dying of the light, as he desperately tries to reassert control ...


Alan Bennett: Finding My Métier, 4 January 2018

... no interest in football I am nevertheless delighted when Arsenal defeat Chelsea in the Cup Final, Arsène Wenger the only football manager deserving of respect.3 June. I’m putting out the various bins when a posh neighbour passes. ‘I see,’ he says, ‘that you’ve found your métier at last.’ Actually, putting the bins out these days requires a ...

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